Lady Painting at the BeachbyEgmontGrigor2011©
She was in the living room reading a magazine when Bob came in with a towel around his waist and using another to dry his hair.
"How many lengths do you do?"
"I swim till the alarm attached to the electronic touch-pads at each end of the pool beeps. That saves me counting."
"Have you been swimming all that time?"
"Gee that must have been heaps of lengths. How many?"
"One-fifty. Let's go to the city for lunch. I have a meeting at 2:30."
She asked, "You don't mind being seen with me in public?"
He grinned and asked had going to England to live robbed her of her intelligence.
The long-legged Nikki, who stood 6-foot, Bob's height, walked over to him and hugged him and they kissed, a long and cool kiss.
"I'm ready to be your Scarlet Woman."
"You can stay without being that."
"It will ruin your reputation in your hometown."
"Who needs a reputable reputation at my age?"
He grinned, and they kissed again, Bob reaching down and squeezing low on one of her ass cheeks.
Nikki almost groaned.
In the garage he began walking to the Range Rover but saw her glance over at the Corvette.
He turned back and said, "We'll take the Chevy, you drive."
She started the motor and Bob said to begin reversing slowly. Sensors attuned to the car would automatically open the door behind them. She must always remember to approach the garage at very slow speed otherwise the door wouldn't open.
"Dad was big into gadgets," he smiled.
She drove unafraid and competently.
"So you've driven performance cars before?"
She smiled and said in her previous life in England she often drove a Ferrari F355 Spider belonging to her mother-in-law.
"That's a nice mother-in-law to have."
"She was a real bitch and was in a constant panic when she drove that car so called on me to drive her about."
They ate at The Health Food Kitchen and obviously Bob was a regular judging by the way staff greeted him calling him Bob.
When they finished he opened his attaché case and said damn. "I left my recorder by my bedside."
"Buy another one."
He frowned and said he already had four. He was going to a meeting and would rely on memory.
"I'll buy a jotter pad and come with you. Remember I'm a former university student who, to a degree, succeeded on my note-taking ability."
"Okay thanks, you'll only have to record decisions, allegations and questions I could not answer but I give an undertaking to get back on. I'm chairman of a small company that runs two deer meat processing plants and this is our quarterly general meeting. I have to give a report."
"Have you got your report with you?"
Bob looked alarmed, dug into the inside pocket of his jacket.
He pulled out a piece of screwed up paper from the back pocket of his pants and looked relieved.
"We must get you an iPad," Nikki giggled.
"I'm not having one of those computer things."
"Oh yes you are bumbling Bob. I'll teach you to cope."
"Jesus," said Bob, mopping his brow with a handkerchief. "I'm really not suited for computer stuff."
"Is that right? Don't both your vehicles but perhaps not the beach buggy operate with computers?"
"If they do they operate that stuff without me."
"I can't believe that tough, agile, smart and problem-solving Bob Hill has his mind stuck back in pre-computer days. Let me see your mobile phone."
Bob handed it to her.
"Jesus Bob, this thing belongs to the Ark and even school kids have basic phones five times more developed and containing more Aps than this one."
"I-I wouldn't know. Let's get this jotter pad."
Nikki came in against him. "Here allow me to take your arm, this sidewalk is a lot busier than when you were a boy and people carried jotter pads."
"D-dad was early into computers and tried to teach me but gave up within fifteen minutes."
"Then how did you learn to cope with this basic mobile phone?"
"My girlfriend at the time, who teaches at high school, taught me how to use it and gave it to me because her husband had given her a new one for her birthday."
Nikki giggled and said she hadn't been aware there were spin-off benefits from adultery.
"And what benefit did she receive from you Bob?"
"I taught her to really enjoy cunnilingus."
"Oh god," Nikki sighed.
She looked across the street and said, "Omigod, the city art gallery has been rebuilt."
"Yeah," said proudly. "Mum led the charge and Hill Farm Family Trust was a 'top twelve' donor."
"Oh Bob I'm so proud of you and your parents," Nikki said, stopping and kissing him in the middle of the sidewalk, greatly embarrassing Bob because passersby were scowling or grinning at them.
"Don't be shy of spontaneity Bob or public demonstration of affection. It's good for the soul and anyway most of those people probably think I'm your daughter. Whoops, er sorry Bob."
"Nah it's okay," he said. "In fact I like the thought."
At first Nikki thought she was at a meeting of bank robbers. Except for Bob, the other guys at the meeting looked is if they were planning a heist. All had unruly hair, most had a moustache or beard, a few had yellow and missing teeth and they all including Bob were drinking beer instead of coffee and all except Bob had beer bellies. Oh the meanest looking guy even had a black patch over one eye and although he'd been introduced to Nikki as Brian Mellows, the guys called him Lefty. She worked out that was because the patch was over his right eye. She'd worked that out, having a knowledge of Kiwi (New Zealand) humor.
She made notes of discussion on live weight and carcass weight differentials and why the northern plant had better yields. There also was a verbal report on slaughter-age weight analysis from Bud from the southern plant that created interest and she noted that. As well there was surprise at the increase on the price premiums for meat from hind legs because of more interest in New Zealand venison from Germany. The decisions noted were to congratulate the northern plant for its report on improved carcass weight yields and to thank the manager of the southern plant for his analysis of slaughter age weights from his plant and to send a copy of the analysis to the northern plant manager, and that was it.
Lefty said. "Ah miss that finishes our meeting. Would you like to go shopping and leave Bob with us for a whisky or two while we chat?"
"Sure, bye boys."
They replied except for Bob who came over and said he'd come now.
"No I'll grab a cab. You stay like the chairman should."
"Are you sure?"
"Geez Bob, worry like that and I'll kiss you in front of the guys."
Bob took two quick steps backwards and grinned and said, "You're okay Nikki."
She purchased a one-piece swimsuit and took a cab home, walking in from the entrance. She wondered if Bob would buy her a horse but then thought one of the steers might do.
Walking up to the house, being greeted suspiciously by two dogs and glad the guard dog was not loose, she walked to the front door and realized the door would be looked and the alarm would be on.
The door had a combination lock.
She tried 'Hills', 'Hill', 'Cove' and 'Farm' without having any idea of how many digits were required for the combination.
She paused, thinking. Bob's father would probably have used his wife's name in the password. She tried 'Ruby', 'RubyHill' and 'RubyH' without success and then thought Bob wouldn't want to be reminded each day of his mum in that manner. He would have changed the code when he began living in the house. She tried 'Bob', 'BobHill' and 'BobH' without success and then remembered his mum always called him Bobby. 'Bobby' didn't work but 'BobbyH' did and that also turned off the alarm simultaneously because an electronic voice said from somewhere, "Alarm disabled."
Nikki felt more relieved than successful. She'd not painted on the beach that morning after changing into her bikini she grabbed a bottle of beer, her easel and paper and sitting on the bench behind the beachfront fence with a sign just beyond her stating private property, she began lightly sketching the cove from that new position.
About 90 minutes later Bob found her down there.
"I thought you'd be preparing dinner?"
"What you don't ask for you don't get."
He snorted and said he'd barbecue a couple of steaks.
"No I'd prepare fish, fresh fish."
"Jesus," he groaned. "I don't feel like rowing out."
"I'll come with you."
"Oh yeah, great."
God he was still like a kid. His pleased grin was a delight to see.
He looked at the sketch, not even half completed and said, "Will that become a new painting?"
"Yes and I'll offer it to the gallery as my small contribution to that facility. They will have a collection of local artists won't they?"
He said yes and he was friendly with the chairman of the acquisitions panel Mrs Montgomery and..."
"Thanks Bob but let them assess the work entirely on merit and please do not attempt to influence anyone at the gallery."
"Yeah I suppose that's best. Well would you like a seat on one of the gallery committees?"
"Let me think about that for a while. First I should join the Arts Society."
"I'll get Beth Brooke to nominate you."
"Very well and who is Beth?"
"An ex-girlfriend and the society's new president."
Nikki had to grin. She said she'd pick up an application form from the gallery.
She took her easel back to the house, grabbed and jacket, two unbreakable glasses and a bottle of wine and a pack of frozen fish bait.
Bob had pulled the dinghy from the partly concealed boatshed and was about to attach an outboard motor.
"In England I often thought about going out fishing with you and there never was a noisy motor."
He walked back to the boatshed with it muttering.
Bob returned to the boat and said, "Oh fuck, bait."
"It's here, open and thawing."
"God how did I cope without you?"
"Inefficiently I would think."
Nikki rowed them 250 yards out to the seaward end of the reef.
She said slyly, "Half-inward tide. The fish will be here anytime soon."
He nodded surprised she could remember such a mundane thing, although important if you desired to catch fish.
Nikki threw out the anchor and Bob handed her a rod he'd baited and said he'd be barman.
For the first time since being together they really relaxed and chatted, rather like in the old days.
Sea Perch kept nibbling away the bait but half an hour later Nikki finally hooked a good-sized snapper and as it was reeled to the surface Bob grabbed hauled it inboard by the line and dealt with it.
"That's dinner," he said. "Another that size and we'll have breakfast."
Nikki was pleased Bob practiced what his father had taught him, 'only to take what you can eat and not catch more to hand to buggers who are perfectly capable of catching fish themselves if they bothered to get off their fat asses'. She'd heard his father deliver than homily many times.
She decided Bob would be okay if she talked about his parents and recited what she'd just thought.
He laughed and said, "Dad kicked my ass occasionally for bringing back excessive catches. He was an effective teacher. You know these days people can get arrested for smacking kids on the ass to correct their behavior. No wonders people don't like to work hard these days or are unwilling to accept responsibility for their actions. Bloody do-gooders and softies are attempting to run everything."
"Now, now grumpy."
"Fillet the fish for me and you'll be forgiven. What say first up gets breakfast, you do lunches and I'll cook dinner?"
"Sounds good to me."
Bob was in the shower when Nikki opened the door and asked if there was room for her.
"Hey I'm showering."
"Don't you fuck in the shower?"
"Oh yeah, come in a welcome Nikki."
She came in nude and faced him unembarrassed.
"I thought if we had to wait for you to make the move it could be days before we got together."
"Yeah, yeah," he said. "Let me get at a tit."
Nikki was about to say no a kiss first, but he struck too quickly for her and nibble the nipple and squeezed the other breasts and her head shot back and she groaned. She'd not had sex for a long time and now felt her lust rising.
She was disappointed when dropping a hand down she found his dick was hanging limply. But after just two tugs it began to thicken and she bit into Bob's shoulder and he yelped, grabbed her by the shoulders and kissed her powerfully.
"Oh yes," Nikki breathed. "I always thought you'd be the guy to take my virginity but not to be."
"Eh?" he said, grabbing two handfuls of her ass and his dick in her hand became like a wood pastry roller.
"Omigod Bob, you're big."
"Nothing what your cunt can't handle," he said, talking like a farmer whereas she would have liked him talking like an accomplished and eloquent seducer. But then again a girl can't have everything.
Dragging her tongue from his mouth she pulled apart and fiddling with a hair-clip at the back of her hair she handed him a small pack.
"God you come to shower all prepared," he chuckled and ripped the pack open and, turning out of the streaming water, rolled on the condom.
It appeared to Nikki he was uncertain about the next step so perhaps he really wasn't used to shower sex. She'd thought everyone did it in the shower and over the kitchen table as a matter of course.
She leant back against the wall, bracing her left foot firmly on the non-skid surface and lifted up her right leg.
Bob say an opening and took it and she placed her leg over his shoulder and gave him an encouraging, "Oooh."
"Ram me Bob, as hard as you wish, but keep me balanced to stay on my one leg.
Bob was good for the job and he puffed into a couple of bellows and Nikki tensed and swung into her release seconds later.
"Jesus Bob, that was a great fuck," she panted. "My first in a long time."
"Oh Nikki, do I like pumping into you. What a body you have and you can squeeze on me real good."
"Really well you mean."
"Oh do I?"
After dressing and brushing her hair Nikki found the two fat filets of the larger snapper had been cut into two and then halved again. Bob was putting the breakfast fillets away in the fridge. He then poured a wine for Nikki and grabbed a beer.
"This has been one of the memorable days of my life."
"Oh darling," Nikki said and kissed him, thinking his adulteresses probably called him darling so she should too.
He sat on a stool and said he'd never dreamed that he would ever hear Nikki call him darling and he loved hearing her call him that.
"It you mean it, I'll keep on using the word," she smiled shyly. "Could you please run out and pick me a lemon.
Nikki splashed olive oil lightly into a heavy fry pan and while that was heating, she quickly made a simply salad while the fries were baking on a tray in the oven and when their cooking time was halfway through she dropped 20 g of butter into the pan and then dropped in the fish fillets. Seven minutes later she served the meal. Nikki sniffed, feeling she was really home again, thinking as a girl she'd watched her grandmother, her mother and Bob's mother prepare a snapper meal exactly the same way.
She and Bob chatted, eyeing each other much of the time.
"That was a grand meal although even an idiot could cook it."
"I'm glad you have remembered to cook the fish the way mum did. Batter and slow cooking at lower heat kills the flavor of Snapper."
"Yes Bob says the Idiot."
"Yeah and I bet you are a cordon bleu cook. Everything about you is class except you use some gutter language."
"I need to do that to make sure I'm communicating adequately to you," she giggled.
He eyed her intently. "Have you been thinking about sleeping with me tonight?"
"Yes but for the time being I'll keep my things in the guestroom."
"That's okay. You'll have your reasons. Invite your mum over whenever you wish."
"Thanks. And that's one of the reasons."
After two hours of gentle sex in bed that night, Nikki understood why women came to Bob Hill for sex.
A month later she was walking in the city and almost bumped into her father coming out of a book shop.
"Hi," he said looking pleased and kissed her. "You don't look any different."
So, having lots of sex supposed to make one look different, Nikki thought and perhaps living with Bob Hill could make you look old and haggard. She decided to ignore the comment.
"Hi, you are looking well."
"And feeling it and I wish to apologize. This think I have against Bob Hill has been taken too far. I thought I'd lost you because of it but your mum who's visited you over there twice says you were fine. Um you might care to accept if I take a grudge against someone I give it my all and you understand that's consistent with my character."
"Yes you are an asshole treating Bob Hill like that dad. I can confirm he's a really decent guy. I do forgive you. Mum and I will be at a flower show on Saturday morning. I want you to call Bob and ask can you go over and if he says yes you go over and try to make peace with him. You can also be a decent bloke dad, so don't screw up."
"Okay I'll certainly think about that. Look have early lunch with me."
"I'd love to do that dad. I've just come from the art gallery. I have given them my painting I began painting at the beach a couple of days after arriving home. It passed initial assessment and now will be assessed carefully for possible acceptance as a gift from a local artist who wishes to support the gallery."
"We partners are major sponsors of the gallery. I probably could get you a seat on one of the committees or possibly even the board."
"No thanks dad. Just leave it. If the call comes I want the gallery initiating it. If the gallery does accept my work you'd honor me by paying for it to be more suitably framed. The framing I had done is pretty basic. Acceptance would mean it's worthy of a highly quality frame."
"I'll gladly do that. When will you know the decision?"
"I have no idea."
Nikki called for her mum on Saturday in the Chevy.
"Omigod he lets you drive his pride and joy. Your dad is going to meet Bob this morning. He's just come off the phone. He's in a lather about what to wear and has all his suits out."
Nikki gave three sharp blasts on the car horn and half a minute later Gerald came out.
Nikki yelled to wear shorts, sneakers and a polo shirt hanging out.
Her father came closer.
"Are you being serious?"
"It's what he was wearing when I left less than ten minutes ago and I can't see him running off to chance into a suit after receiving your phone call. Apologize unreservedly and then shake hands and look thirsty."
"You've grown up baby, all of that is damn good advice. Have a great time you two."
"Omigod was that my husband."
"I think so mum. He's making an effort to get us to really like him again."
"I've never stopped..."
"I mean REALLY like him mum."
A few days later Nikki received a call from the gallery director, Cheryl Hogan.
She introduced herself and called Nikki Mrs Wells and Nikki said to call her Nikki.
"We here are virtually over-whelmed by the quality of your artistry," said Mrs Hogan. "Please call me Cheryl."
"Oh thanks for the recognition."
"Nikki have you any idea how much this painting is worth even on the restricted market of our little country?"
"I have some idea... sufficient to buy myself a quality pre-used car I should think, but that's not the point. I wish to be represented in your gallery as a local artist of merit and my hope was be favorably judged by my peers."
"Nikki, I think the way to put it crudely is, we were gob smacked."
"As you stated in your covering letter with your submission, you are the daughter of Gerald and Dianne Wells, is that correct, and you studied at the Royal College of Art in London and you will be settling back here?"